I have been watching Tidying Up and love that a lot of the things she suggests are things I do when I clean or tidy up. Makes me feel in the know; that maybe I did have a plan even if it seems like I am always just winging it. But the advice that sticks with me the most is “Does this bring joy?” As I watch the show, I see how people struggle with clothes and shoes. At the core, you don’t HAVE to get rid of anything, you just have to make a conscious decision that you want to keep it.
Little over five years ago, I helped my mom move out of her house. It took place over three days and was one of the most difficult things I have ever done (and there is quite a list of difficult things if we are counting). Things I couldn’t make rational decisions on in that small time frame, I boxed. I have slowly worked on these boxes over the years. The hardest box has been pictures. Pictures of my childhood and my kid’s childhood. Pictures of my mother’s childhood and her at college. My parents’ wedding pictures. Random pictures of trees, water and ducks. Pictures of places but not people. People I have no idea who they are (even if it does say things like Larry, Todd, Jen at the dance). I grew up in an age where you took a picture or three, and when the roll was done you sent them away and in a week pictures came back… they were so expensive (at least to us then) that even if it was seven shots of the same picture with maybe a head at a slightly different angle, you kept all seven. Same with the blurry ones. You paid good money for these… you kept them.
So the box has been overwhelming me. It lurks in my office. I move it around from shelf to closet to different shelf. I tackled three pages and then quit for two years. But then it hit me in the last week, why can’t I do the same thing with the pictures… why can’t I keep the ones that bring me joy? I am going to be the one looking at the album and I didn’t pay for six of the same shot of slightly blurry three year old kkdonk. So I started again with that mindset. I take each picture and really look at it. And it doesn’t have to be the actual picture focus that brings joy. There is one I look awful but there is a great shot of the amazing wall paper we had in my favorite house we lived in. The wallpaper brings me joy and this method is making it much easier to tackle the box of pictures.